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BC-AP Top Stories Digest

February 2, 2019

Here are the AP’s latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EST. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at https://newsroom.ap.org .

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TOP STORIES

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GOVERNOR-KLAN-BLACKFACE — A Virginia Democrat who has spoken with Gov. Ralph Northam has told The Associated Press that the governor now does not believe he was in a racist picture in his 1984 medical yearbook and has no immediate plans to resign. The official was not authorized to speak on the record to detail a private conversation. The official told the AP that Northam plans to address the issue with the public in the afternoon. Northam is calling Virginia Democrats to try and gain support. Nearly his entire political base has called for him to resign. By Alan Suderman. SENT: 800 words, photos, developing. Will be updated after press conference.

ECONOMY-US VS WORLD — The U.S. economy, well into its 10th year of growth, still has a spring in its step. And it’s all the more visible when set against a tiring global picture. A robust January jobs report on Friday showed that America’s companies are, for now, brushing off an array of economic perils and still hiring at a brisk pace. The risks that for months had induced hand-wringing among economists about a possible looming recession appear to have had little effect on employers. By Economics Writer Christopher Rugaber. SENT: 990 words, photo.

TRUMP-SENATE INFLUENCE — Two years into Donald Trump’s presidency, his allies in Congress are quietly trying to influence and even reshape his “America First” foreign policy agenda. The Republican-led Senate is reasserting itself as a check on Trump’s instincts, and some analysts say it’s about time. By Congressional Correspondent Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 910 words, photos.

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT-STATE LEGISLATURES — In the first week of 2019, an investigation by Oregon’s labor agency deemed the state Capitol to be a hostile workplace because of an unchecked pattern of sexual harassment among lawmakers. A few days later, two Washington state lawmakers accused of sexual misconduct resigned. Then came new allegations of sexual wrongdoing in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, where a veteran male lawmaker was accused of groping a newly elected female colleague during a pre-session reception. Barely a month into the 2019 legislative sessions, it already is clear that the #MeToo movement was not a one-year phenomenon in many state capitols. New claims of sexual misconduct are continuing to be made public. By David A. Lieb. SENT: 1,575 words, photos.

CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS — For their supporters, the thousands of Christian schools across America are literally a blessing — a place where children can learn in accordance with biblical teachings, untainted by the secular norms of public schools. To critics, many of these Christian schools venture too often into indoctrination, with teachings that can misrepresent science and history and potentially breed intolerance toward people with different outlooks. By National Writer David Crary. SENT: 1,095 words, photos.

POLAND-DIVIDED NATION — Poland, governed for more than three years now by a nationalist populist government, has become a house so bitterly divided against itself that hate speech, political threats and now the killing of a popular mayor have come to define the times. By Vanessa Gera. SENT: 850 words, photos. Eds: This story has moved as the Sunday Spotlight.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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STATE OF UNION-HISTORY — Abraham Lincoln delivered the State of the Union during the Civil War. Richard Nixon gave it while embroiled in Watergate. One of Bill Clinton’s annual speeches came weeks after he’d been impeached. President Donald Trump is the latest chief executive to deliver the address at a time of turmoil. By Darlene Superville. SENT: 680 words, photos.

FACT CHECK-WEEK — President Trump claimed great progress in building the border wall even though it’s no longer than before he took office. He dismissed the reality of global warming because of a fierce, passing cold spell. He described the steel industry as “totally revived” despite 20,000 job losses over the past decade. A look at his recent rhetoric and the reality. By Hope Yen and Calvin Woodward. SENT: 1,410 words, photos. Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd

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NATIONAL

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CALIFORNIA STORMS — The second in a string of powerful storms battered California, bringing down trees, flooding roadways and prompting evacuations in wildfire burn areas where intense downpours could loosen bare hillsides and cause mudslides. The system could bring 4 inches of rain in some areas, 10-foot waves in the Pacific and several feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada and other mountain ranges. SENT: 500 words, photos.

DESERT BODIES MYSTERY — Ten years ago, police in New Mexico began unearthing the remains of 11 women and an unborn child found buried on Albuquerque’s West Mesa, marking the start of a massive homicide investigation that remains open. A group of advocates and community members plan to gather to remember the victims and call for more protections for marginalized and vulnerable women in New Mexico’s largest city. SENT: 750 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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FRANCE-PROTESTS — France’s yellow vest protesters were back on the streets to keep up the pressure on French President Emmanuel Macron’s government and to decry the number of people being injured by police during anti-government demonstrations. Multiple protests were taking place in Paris and other cities to denounce Macron’s economic policies, which they view as favoring the rich, for the 12th straight weekend of demonstrations. By Sylvie Corbet. SENT: 700 words, photos.

BRAZIL-DAM COLLAPSE-REGULATIONS — Lax regulations, chronic short staffing and a law that muffled the voices of environmentalists on mining licenses made the devastating collapse of a dam in southeastern Brazil all but destined to happen, experts and legislators say. The failure of the dam holding back iron ore mining waste on Jan. 25 unleashed an avalanche of mud that buried buildings and contaminated water downstream. At least 115 people have died, and another 248 people remain missing. SENT: 920 words, photos.

VENEZUELA-POLITICAL CRISIS — A Venezuelan air force general defected from the administration of President Nicolas Maduro and called on his compatriots to participate in protests against the socialist leader’s rule. Gen. Francisco Yanez is the first high ranking officer to leave Maduro’s government since Jan. 23, when National Assembly President Juan Guaido declared himself the country’s legitimate leader. SENT: 540 words, photos.

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BUSINESS/TECH

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GENERAL MOTORS-SUPPLIERS — The sting from a major restructuring at General Motors and its planned closings of five North American factories in the coming months is putting thousands of jobs at auto parts suppliers at stake, as well. While GM expects nearly all its U.S. blue-collar workers whose jobs are being eliminated to have an opportunity at relocating to factories that are adding jobs, that won’t be the case for many in the supply chain who make parts, drive trucks, work in warehouses and keep GM’s plants operating. SENT: 875 words, photos.

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SPORTS

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FBN--SUPER BOWL-MCVAY’S SCHOOL DAYS — Rams coach Sean McVay played high school ball in Atlanta. He’s still remembered fondly at the Catholic prep school he led to a state title in 2003. Now, his former coaches and schoolmates are pulling for McVay to win another championship. By Paul Newberry. SENT: 950 words, photos.

FBN--HALL OF FAME — Tony Gonzalez, the record holder among tight ends in many receiving categories, is a leading candidate in his first year of eligibility for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. By National Eddie Pells. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 7 p.m.

BKN--LAKERS-WARRIORS — With LeBron James back in the lineup after a groin injury, the Lakers play a Golden State Warriors team whose 11-game winning streak ended with a loss to Philadelphia. James had a double-double in an overtime win over the Clippers on Thursday night. By Janie McCauley. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 8:30 p.m.

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